Follow the Money

Biden Fined $219K

The Federal Election Commission is docking Vice President Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign for accepting contributions exceeding the legal limit and for failing to fully repay a New York hedge fund for a flight on a private jet. Biden’s campaign has told the FEC that it will pay the $219,000 fine to the U.S. Treasury, Politico reports. The flight was contributed by the Clinton Group, a New York hedge fund currently implicated (but not charged) in a state pension fund kickback investigation. The Biden campaign reimbursed the hedge fund for the estimated cost of a comparable commercial flight, not the cost of a charter flight, as the FEC believes it ought to have done. The difference amounts to a $26,889 contribution from a corporation—which are not allowed to contribute to federal campaigns. FEC audits are automatically triggered when a candidate accepts public financing; consequently, the Obama campaign—which broke the record for campaign funds and didn't participate in the public-financing program—will most likely not be audited.